Honestly, the first thing that comes into my mind when I hear the word "friendship" is an image of Lucy and Ethel singing the song, "Friendship", as they stand side by side in their matching dresses, tearing flowers and sashes off of each other, haha! That may be coming to your mind, too, now.
The second thing I think of is the importance to who we are. Friendship is one of the most powerful and incredible blessings that ever graces our lives. It is with us through every phase of life as we make new friends and cherish the ones from whom we never part. Friendship makes the world more beautiful because through the eyes of our friends, we are given new eyes to see what our kindred spirit sees when we may not be able to.
Because friends play such an important role in our lives, it is only natural that we would want to have friendships with the best people possible- not with the best clothes or looks or popularity, but the best inner selves. Something I was reminded of recently when I reread this Proverb is that a good friendship only comes from finding someone who sharpens us, brings out the best in us, and ultimately encourages us... someone who is a positive influence on us, "sharpening" our character and our hearts and minds for the better. My parents always reiterated to me just how important it was to find friends who had the same kinds of morals and mindset as I did... a similar outlook on life when it comes to things like standards or faith. They told me that this would shape who I became for better or worse and they were more than right.
I love the saying, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future". This has come to mind for me a lot as I have made friends. How true! Who we associate ourselves with has such a great bearing on our actions, thoughts, and the way we are shaped. I believe it it is so influential on our relationship with God. When we surround ourselves with people who not only love God themselves, but who would never think of discouraging us from our faith and our relationship with Him, and who have good habits and life morals, how much more likely we ourselves will stay strong and be encouraged to keep our faith where it belongs... at the forefront of our lives. Afterall, how can we be truly close to God if we are close to someone who doesn't want to be or doesn't want us to be?
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I'm thankful to say that God has allowed the best friends I could ask for to be the ones who never trickled out of my life, seeing to it that I had encouraging, kind-hearted girls to be surrounded by... friends I can joke around with, up-build, be built up by, dream with, tell my dreams to and share my heart with, listen to, and learn from. We never know when God will send a new friend our way to cross our path- as he has for me in just the past couple of years- so although I am so grateful for the friendships I have now, I so love this reminder of the importance in choosing friends wisely as I think of the years to come. There is a reason the Lord tells us, "Bad association spoils useful habits" (1 Cor. 15: 33). It's so easy to get wrapped up in wanting to be friends with someone because of their kindness or likable personality, but it's important to stop and think about the goals, life outlook, morals, language, countenance, and overall character of that person also. Would they support and encourage you in your paths, and are they the type of person that you could encourage in theirs?
I never want to lose sight of what a truly blessed friendship is... one of sharpening each other and motivating each other to seek all things good and righteous.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend!
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Faithful Fridays are hosted by Joy on her wonderful, faith-inspiring blog, Doodlebug. You can visit her, here!